22 June 2012
DOE Advances Energy Conservation Rulemaking Processes for Various Products
The Department of Energy recently announced three regulatory actions of potential interest to Hong Kong and mainland Chinese exporters of microwave ovens, residential water heaters and liquid-immersed distribution transformers. Of particular interest is a notice that moves forward the DOE’s on-going process to develop active mode testing methodologies for residential microwave ovens. The DOE has conducted testing to evaluate potential test procedure amendments to provide methods of measuring energy use for microwave ovens, including both microwave-only ovens and convection microwave cooking ovens. In the notice at hand, the DOE presents the results from these testing investigations and requests comments and additional information by 5 July on these results and potential amendments.
Interested parties may also submit data and information by 13 July on the impact of the DOE’s recently amended minimum energy conservation standards for residential electric water heaters on utility programmes that use high-storage-volume (above 55 gallons) electric storage water heaters to reduce peak electricity demand. The DOE amended its standards for residential water heaters on 16 April 2010 and compliance with the amended standards is required beginning on 16 April 2015. Among other things, the amended standards for residential water heaters raised the minimum requirements for electric storage water heaters with storage volumes above 55 gallons to levels that are currently achieved through the use of heat pump water heater technology. Utilities have expressed concerns that the amended levels will negatively impact programmes designed to reduce peak energy demand by heating water only during off-peak times and storing the water for use during peak demand periods. This request for information solicits feedback on the effects of the amended energy conservation standards for electric storage water heaters on such utility programmes.
Lastly, the DOE has scheduled a meeting for 20 June and will accept comments, data and other information by 29 June on additional information about the liquid-immersed distribution transformer equipment classes that were analysed in a previously issued notice of proposed rulemaking. Specifically, the DOE is supplementing the analysis in that proposal to include additional trial standard levels that embody separate equipment classes for several different types of liquid-immersed distribution transformers. In addition, the DOE has several documents and analytical tools available to interested parties on its Web site. The documents describe the technical information in more detail and the software modelling tools that can be used by interested parties to evaluate how this information affects the results of certain aspects of the DOE’s key economic analyses.